Projected U.S. trade growth and the growing importance of technology exports should lead to a significant spike in Bay Area technology export activity, according to new research out today from the Bay Area Council Economic Institute (BACEI), sponsored by HSBC. The report predicts a rise of as much as 20 percent to around $30 billion by the end of 2016, from almost $25 billion last year. The projected increase will provide increased expansion opportunities for businesses involved in this vital sector, with exports currently supporting some 378,000 jobs in the region.
According to the research, projected Bay Area growth is also linked to the rising importance of China’s currency, the renminbi (RMB), in global commerce. American firms report becoming increasingly at ease with settling cross-border trades in RMB, with the Bay Area at the forefront of this trend due the region’s strong Chinese business and cultural ties. In 2013, two-way trade between California and China totaled over $146 billion and the state currently attracts more Chinese investment in technology than any other, with over a third (35 percent) directed toward the Bay Area. For the U.S. as a whole, Chinese foreign direct investment has broken new records each year since 2009, increasing from $5.8 billion in 2010 to $6.7 billion in 2012. Says Sean Randolph, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute and author of the report:
Innovation, ingenuity and risk-taking are the foundation of the Bay Area-Silicon Valley economy and position the region for tremendous growth as cutting-edge technology becomes the American export of the future. Trade in the Bay Area: Investment and Global Financial Flows. “This, in combination with our close ties to China and the rest of Asia, as well as the internationalization of the Chinese currency, makes it an exciting time to live and work in the Bay Area.
The BACEI report will be discussed at today’s HSBC Made For Trade Bay Area – ‘Financing the Future’ event. This is the third official stop of the Made For Trade tour, which launched in Los Angeles in March before moving on to Houston. It will make an additional stop next month in Chicago before culminating this October in Washington, D.C. Speakers at today’s event include: San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Deputy Assistant Secretary Ted Dean of the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Bay Area Council CEO Jim Wunderman, Xia Xiang of the People’s Republic of China’s Consulate in San Francisco, Steve Bottomley, Head of Commercial Banking North America, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., and Marlon Young, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Private Bank, Americas; plus senior representatives of LinkedIn, Matson, Inc., Levi Strauss & Co. and Cisco Systems, Inc. Said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee:
San Francisco is the Innovation Capital of the World and the gateway to the Pacific Rim, making our City a dynamic and thriving hub for international trade and commerce. That’s why I’m pleased to be a part of HSBC Made For Trade Bay Area to highlight San Francisco’s important and leading role in the global market place, today and in the future.”
Per said Arjan van den Berkmortel, Managing Director, Corporate Banking West Coast, HSBC Bank USA, N.A.:
San Francisco is truly an international city, and the flow of goods throughout the Bay Area is a natural extension of its economic culture. We opened our first U.S. office here nearly 150 years ago, and as we look at the future of global trade, it’s exciting to see how well positioned San Francisco and the surrounding areas are for continued growth. As the leading bank for international trade, HSBC looks forward to helping Bay Area businesses continue to push the limits of borders.”